The spread of cotton cultivation was accompanied by a large-scale movement of slaves, often over long distances, the new lands of Alabama and Mississippi. Since the revolution, there had already been considerable movement of slaves from Virginia into Kentucky and Tennessee, much of it in groups as owners moved Westward, taking their families and their slaves with them.Longer – distance migration to the Southwest encouraged the development after 1815 of a more organized slave trade, which was much more destructive in its effects upon the slaves, and particularly upon their families. It almost tripled in the decade after the war of 1812 – both the area of slavery and the number of slaves also grew rapidly. In anticipation of that event, something like a hundred thousand slaves from Africa were brought into the United States between 1790 and the ending of the tread – and almost 40,000 of them arrived at Charlestown alone in the last few years before 1808. It was conclusively demonstrated that the natural increase of the slave population would be able to sustain the continued expansion of the slave South. By 1830, the number of slaves had passed the 2 million mark. This capacity for growth and potential for further growth were the most astonishing features of the whole period.

Slavery was flourishing as a labor system, a social institution, and the device for control of one race by another. It was a system which lived on, bye, and with fear. Slaves were compelled by force of circumstances to fear their masters; non-slave-owning whites felt threatened socially and economically by blacks, what does slave or free semi color and all Southern whites shared the constant, nagging fear of servile Insurrection – and, in 1831, the Nat Turner Uprising in the Southampton County, Virginia, fed that fear anew. The whole wide South feared outside interference or domination. Parts of the upper South and the Atlantic Seaboard feared for the future of slavery on their exhausted or depleted soils. Slave owners generally feared for their social status, their economic well-being, and their personal security, should their peculiar institution come to an end., the fear which subsumed meaning of the others was dread Consequences economic ruin, social chaos, and racial Anarchy – which, it was generally believed, would follow the abandonment of slavery.

Two prominent features of Southern slavery conspired to add to the paradoxes of the system. First, slavery was explicitly and essentially ratio. The line of race and color drawn between master and the slave was so firm that the few exceptions did not threaten it. This line dictated the formal rigidity of the Master-slave relationship, the difficulty and lifting Rarity of manumission, and the Twilight existence of the free black community. There were few Escape hatches of any kind, and the color of a slave’s skin marked him or her indelibly. bondage was a life sentence and a hereditary one.  Stanley Elkins attributes the harsh lines and severity of the slave system to its origins in “unrestrained capitalism”. Racism, at least as much as capitalism, may have been the villain of the piece, and the one no doubt reinforced the other.